Class of 2017 Forty Under Forty

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Renata Erlikhman Director of Investments, OW Management
(Los Angeles, CA) 35
Renata Erlikhman
(Art by Marcellus Hall)

She has the talent to invest successfully across asset classes. As an inspiring young leader on the West Coast, she is someone who should be followed closely and who will surely make an even bigger impact in the years to come.

How have you been a change agent at your organization? What have you done that you’re particularly proud of?

By virtue of being a small two-person team, I’ve had the unique opportunity to straddle all asset classes and strategies. It’s been incredible to contribute to building out of a family office and an investment program.

What is the asset class or investment that keeps you up at night, and why?

Long-only equities. Equity valuations are elevated and priced for perfection. Asset prices have decoupled from fundamentals as multiples expanded and earnings have been flat. The market keeps inching higher and the opportunity cost of not participating is significant.

What methodologies have you adopted within your institution?

We look at a number of data indicators and measures across asset classes and strategies. Investor sentiment tends to be one of many gauges of capital flows and a good ­contra-indicator of what to avoid. Additionally, we always evaluate portfolio risk metrics to quantify and understand our market exposure.

Where do you fall in the passive vs. active debate?

I think there is room for both in a broad, diversified portfolio. However, recent massive flows into “passive” and other “smart beta” strategies have fueled asset prices higher.

What are the changes you’d like to see the institutional investing community make in 10 years?

More thought given to strategy capacity and asset gathering at the expense of performance.

Who is a manager you don’t currently work with whose brain you’d like to pick?

I admire Jim Simons from Renaissance for building one of the preeminent systematic trading hedge funds by applying mathematical and statistical methods to investing. I would be curious to get his views on AI, big-data and implications for markets and allocators going forward.

Ideally, where would that meeting take place?

At their headquarters in East Setauket, NY.

What is the software investment tool that helps you most?

Excel. Not an hour goes by without it!

What would improve the relationship between you and managers?

Honest conversations about challenges managers face navigating the changing marketplace landscape and being able to humbly speak about mistakes/lessons learned.

Why did you choose your current path?

Being an LP offers an opportunity to meet with and learn from talented investment managers across asset classes and strategies. And I get to steward hard-earned capital along the way.